Since I had so many notes on Crawford, I figured I’d do a separate post on him alone, then do the rest of my notes on other guys in a totally different post.
Jon Crawford, RHP (Detroit): Crawford was one of the main attractions on Tuesday. I had seen him earlier this season a few times, but that was in April/May, and I wanted to see how he’d developed over several months, if at all. I’ll do this in bullet format-
- The fastball sat 92-95 for pretty much the entire outing. Was more 91-94 towards the end, but it was still a velo jump from what I’d seen earlier. FB showed good life regardless of where it was pitched early on, but flattened out on him after 60 or so pitches.
- He threw his FB about 75% of the time, and then threw the SL and CH equal amounts, which I liked to see. It also explains why he hasn’t been missing as many bats in recent weeks, since the SL is the weapon pitch. If the Tigers are forcing him to shelf the slider to develop the FB and CH, it would make sense. That’s what I saw yesterday.
- He has made strides with the change up. The command is awful, he genuinely didn’t hit the glove once with the CH, but the action is more impressive and he really looked more comfortable throwing the pitch. It was 83-85 with fade, he threw it to both RHH and LHH, threw it in fastball counts, and I was pleased with the progress he’s made.
- His SL has also made some development. Before, it was strictly 85-88 with sharp tilt–a true slider. Now, he’s showing the ability to manipulate the break and change speeds with it, to the point of where he’s damned near throwing a 4th pitch. The old slider is still there, but he’s also featuring a slurvier offering at 81-83. I wouldn’t call it a curveball, but it’s definitely a different look.
- While the stuff had taken a step forward since my previous viewing, the command had taken a step back. He was downright wild at times, leaving his FB up consistently, not throwing the SL for strikes, and was generally just really bad in terms of command.
- The raw stuff is intriguing, it really is. He shows the potential to pitch with 2 plus or better pitches, and the change up has taken a step forward and flashed average at times. That speaks to the arsenal of a starter. However, he’s still pretty damned raw for a college guy. He struggled to repeat his delivery, the arm slot was inconsistent, and as a result the command was terrible. Not what you want to see from a college pitcher taken in the first round.
- My original OFP remains the same. At peak, he’s a #3 starter who will miss bats but probably not log a ton of innings. Realistically, he’s a back end bullpen guy, where his fastball and slider could potentially both play as 7’s.